Saratoga Springs, New York: Wikis


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Saratoga Springs
—  City  —
City of Saratoga Springs
Downtown Saratoga Springs
Nickname(s): The Spa City
Motto: "The City in the Country"
(also "Health, History, Horses")
Location within Saratoga County
Saratoga Springs is located in New York
Saratoga Springs
Location within the state of New York
Coordinates: 43°4′31″N 73°46′57″W / 43.07528°N 73.7825°W / 43.07528; -73.7825Coordinates: 43°4′31″N 73°46′57″W / 43.07528°N 73.7825°W / 43.07528; -73.7825
Country United States
State New York
County Saratoga
First settled ca. 1776
Incorporated (town) 1819
Incorporated (village) 1826
Incorporated (city) 1915
 - Mayor Scott Johnson (R)
 - State Assembly James Tedisco (R) (2009)
 - State Senate
 - U.S. House Scott Murphy (D)
Area [1]
 - City 29.0 sq mi (75.2 km2)
 - Land 28.4 sq mi (73.6 km2)
 - Water 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)  2.17%
 - Urban 36.89 sq mi (95.57 km2)
Elevation 300 ft (91.4 m)
Population (July 1, 2006)
 - City 28,499
 Density 982.7/sq mi (379/km2)
 - Demonym Saratogian
  [citation needed]
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 12866
Area code(s) 518
Twin Cities
 - Chekhov  Russia
FIPS code 36-65255
GNIS feature ID 0964489

Saratoga Springs is a city in Saratoga County, New York, United States. The population was 26,186 at the 2000 census.[2] The name reflects the presence of mineral springs in the area. While the word "Saratoga" is known to be a corruption of a Native American place name, authorities[3] disagree on what the exact word was, and hence what it meant. The city is near the center of Saratoga County in upstate New York.



Fort Saratoga was built in 1691 on the west bank of the Hudson River about a mile south of the current village of Schuylerville, New York, which was settled shortly thereafter, and was known as Saratoga until 1831. In 1767, Sir William Johnson, British soldier and a hero of the French and Indian Wars, was brought about ten miles west of the village, to what would become the city of Saratoga Springs, by Native American friends, to treat war wounds at a spring thought to have medicinal properties. The spring is now known as High Rock Spring, and may be visited today.

The first permanent settler at the springs arrived around 1776, and a tourist trade swiftly grew, with hotels being constructed by such Revolutionary War luminaries as Gideon Putnam.

Saratoga Springs was established as a town in 1819 from a western portion of the Town of Saratoga. Its principal community was incorporated as a village in 1826 and the entire region became a city in 1915.

In the 19th century, the famed doctor Simon Baruch encouraged bringing European style spas to the US, and thus the Saratoga, with its wealth of mineral waters developed as a spa, seeing many hotels built, including the colossal Grand Union Hotel that was in its day, the largest hotel in the world,[4] and the famed United States Hotel. In addition, the Saratoga Springs area was well known for its gambling, which after the first years of the 20th century, was illegal, but still widespread. Most gambling facilities were located on Saratoga Lake, on the southeast side of the city.

After the closing and demolition of many of the famed hotels, including the Grand Union and United States, in the 1940s and 1950s, Saratoga Springs experienced a significant economic downturn. During the 1950s, the famed gambling houses were also shut down, which hurt Saratoga Springs' popularity even more. The city's rebirth began in the 1960s with the completion of the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87), which allowed visitors from the New York City area much easier access. In addition, the construction of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which features classical and popular music, and dance, in the late 1960s furthered the city's renaissance.

The famous Battle of Saratoga, the turning point of the Revolutionary War, did not take place in Saratoga Springs. Rather, the battlefield is 15 miles (24 km) to the southeast in the town of Stillwater. There is a museum dedicated to these two battles located on the fields where the battles were fought. The British encampment before the surrender at Saratoga took place 10 miles east of the city, in Schuylerville, and there are several historical markers delineating points of interest. The surrender of the sword took place where Fort Saratoga had been, south of Schuylerville.


Saratoga Springs is located at 43°04′31″N 73°46′57″W / 43.075337°N 73.782422°W / 43.075337; -73.782422 (43.075337, -73.782422).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.1 square miles (75.3 km2), of which, 28.4 square miles (73.6 km2) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) of it (2.17%) is water.

The Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) and US Route 9 pass alongside and through the city. New York State Route 29, New York State Route 50, New York State Route 9N, and New York State Route 9P lead into Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Lake is southeast of the city.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 26,186 people, 10,784 households, and 5,985 families residing in the city. The population density was 921.1 people per square mile (355.6/km2). There were 11,584 housing units at an average density of 407.5/sq mi (157.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.53% White, 3.11% African American, 0.24% Native American, 1.03% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.

There were 10,784 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,130, and the median income for a family was $59,281. Males had a median income of $39,573 versus $29,439 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,250. About 5.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.0% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.



The city is perhaps most famous for the Saratoga Race Course which opened on August 3, 1863. The initial track was located across Union Avenue from the present Saratoga Race Course, which opened the following year. Founded by John Hunter and William R. Travers, the thoroughbred track is the oldest continuously-operating sporting event of any kind in the United States. The track holds a summer meet lasting six weeks, from late July to Labor Day, every day but Tuesdays. The meet features a number of major stakes races, with the Travers Stakes the most important. Known as the "Summer Derby," the 2008 Travers was won by Colonel John who earlier had won the Santa Anita Derby.[6] The track season sees a dramatic influx of people into the city. Hotels fill to capacity, and many Saratogians rent out their homes.

Also located in the city is the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, a harness (Standardbred) racetrack that includes a video gaming facility, the Racino.

The Springs

One of Saratoga's many public springs

Before racing began in Saratoga, the area's natural mineral springs had been attracting summertime visitors for many decades. These springs were believed to have healing powers. The Lincoln Baths was one such place people would go to be treated with the waters. The bath house has since been transformed into an office building, but still exists and can be visited to this day. The spa treatments also are being continued in a new bath house in the Spa State Park called the Roosevelt Baths. Springs can be found all over town. Most of the springs are covered by small pavilions and marked by plaques; others, however, are less conspicuous, sometimes just a spigot in a rock. The springs are famous for their varied and distinct tastes: some are clear freshwater, others are saltier, and some taste strongly of a certain mineral such as sodium bicarbonate or sodium chloride. There is a sulfur odor but mineral analysis of the water consistently shows almost no presence of dissolved sulfur, because the sulfur is in the form of the gas H2S, which degasses from the water very quickly. Visitors are welcome to bottle the spring water for personal consumption.

List of the Springs: Big Red Spring, Charlie Spring, Columbian Springs, Congress Spring, Deer Park Spring, Empire Spring, Geyser Island Spouter, Geyser Spring, Governor Spring, Hathorn #1, Hathorn #3, Hayes Well Spring, High Rock Spring, Old Iron Spring, Old Red Spring, Orenda Spring and Tufa Deposits, Patterson Springs, Peerless Spring, Polaris Spring, and State Seal.

Arts and entertainment

Superhorse, one of 34 fiberglass horses on display around downtown Saratoga Springs in the 2007 Horses, Saratoga Style street display.

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (known by its acronym "SPAC," rhymes with "snack") is a covered outdoor amphitheater located on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park, with a capacity of 5,000 in reserved seating and 20,000+ on its general admission lawn area. SPAC is the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet, and has hosted a weekend-long jazz festival for several decades. 2007 marks the second year of the annual Saratoga Native American Festival held on the grounds of SPAC. It is a stop for touring national recording artists: over 20 popular bands grace the stage every summer. Steps away on State Park grounds, the Spa Little Theater hosts the Home Made Theater as well as the geographically-misdescriptive Lake George Opera during the summer.

There are several museums in the area, including the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. There are more than 20 golf courses.

The city is also notable for its vibrant night life. Caffè Lena was one of the first venues in the Eastern US at which Bob Dylan performed, in 1961. Arlo Guthrie played the Caffè early in his career and has returned for occasional benefit concerts. Singer Don McLean is said to have composed his "American Pie" sitting at a table in the Tin & Lint, a bar on Caroline Street. A plaque marks the table today. Numerous other establishments exist on Broadway, Caroline Street, and the redeveloped Putnam Street.

Recently, Beekman Street (four blocks west of Broadway), once the center of a lower class residential neighborhood, has become an art district, housing four galleries, a restaurant, a pub and teahouse, and a bistro. Artists live and work in co-ops and arrange social events. While many congratulate themselves on "revitalizing" a "deteriorating" area, others consider such declarations an insult to the generations of Saratogians of marginalized ethnicities that toiled in support of the tourism economy of the city, and were traditionally segregated to this once-remote quarter.

Saratoga Springs is also home to Yaddo, a 400-acre (1.62 km2; 0.62 sq mi) artists' community, founded by the great Wall Street financier, Spencer Trask and his wife, the author Katrina Trask. Since its inception in 1900, Yaddo has been home to 60 Pulitzer Prize winning authors and one Nobel Prize winner. Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, and David Sedaris have all been artists-in-residence. The Yaddo grounds are adjacent to the backstretch of the Saratoga Race Course.


Empire State College and Skidmore College are both located in Saratoga Springs. During the summer, Skidmore is one of several hosts for the Johns Hopkins' CTY program. Eastern Nazarene College, located in Quincy, Massachusetts, was founded in Saratoga Springs as the "Pentecostal Collegiate Institute and Biblical Seminary" at the turn of the 20th century.

The Saratoga Springs City School district is made up of:

  • six elementary schools (kindergarten through grade five) -- Lake Avenue, Caroline Street, Division Street and Geyser Road in the City of Saratoga Springs; Greenfield in the Town of Greenfield; and Dorothy Nolan in the Town of Wilton;
  • one middle school (grades six through eighth) -- Maple Avenue Middle School in the Town of Greenfield
  • one high school (grades nine through 12th) -- Saratoga Springs High School located on Blue Streak Boulevard in the City of Saratoga Springs.

Private schools in Saratoga Springs include Saratoga Central Catholic High School, St. Clement's Regional Catholic School, Waldorf School, and Saratoga Independent School.



Sports Figures

  • Kathleen Kauth, hockey player; 2006 Olympic bronze medalist; currently plays for the NWHL's Brampton Thunder
  • Bill Parcells, retired football coach; owns a summer/retirement home overlooking a local golf course [8]
  • Erin Porter, olympic speed skater
  • Dottie Pepper, golfer; 1983 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School
  • Justin Morrow, figure-skater; two-time national ice-dancing medalist; 2005 Saratoga Springs High School graduate
  • Jerry Bailey, retired jockey
  • Giana Roberge, professional cyclist; 2004 Master's World Time-Trial Champion; former owner of Paradox Bicycle Center on Church St.; Skidmore graduate
  • Anthony Weaver, football player; former defensive end with the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans, 1998 Saratoga Springs High School graduate
  • Nick Zito, thoroughbred horse trainer
  • Tim Stauffer, Major League Baseball pitcher in the San Diego Padres system; attended Saratoga Central Catholic High School.
  • Moira D'Andrea, speedskater, competed in the 1992 and 1998 Olympics; graduate of Saratoga Springs High School.
  • Don Pepper, major league baseball player and father of pro golfer Dottie Pepper, played first base for the Detroit Tigers, graduate of Saratoga Springs High School.
  • Mickey Walczak, University of West Virginia running back, named offensive Most Valuable Player of the 1981 Peach Bowl; 1978 graduate of Saratoga Springs High School.
  • Blase Iuliano, Saratoga Springs High School football coach (1970-2006); retired with 223 victories, 15th best in New York State history at the time.


Other Notable People

  • Justin Michael Jenkins, artist, designer for Susan Polgar; 1989 Saratoga Springs High School graduate
  • James Howard Kunstler, writer and social critic
  • Gene Markey, screenwriter, producer, U.S. Naval officer
  • Steven Millhauser, writer, winner of 1997 Pulitzer Prize.
  • Solomon Northup, prominent abolitionist and author of Twelve Years a Slave; born a free man but kidnapped into slavery, eventually regaining freedom in 1853
  • Jane Roberts, author, psychic and trance medium or spirit medium.
  • Nick Steele, noted fashion stylist; has worked with Beyoncé, Katie Couric and many others; grew up in Saratoga and his family still resides there
  • Marylou Whitney, socialite; maintains a home at Cady Hill
  • George Crum, inventor of the potato chip; a Native American/African American chef at Moon's Lake House
  • Dr. Charles F. Dowd, one of the inventors of Standard Time that is in use today
  • Ransom Cook, inventor of the Cook Auger, or "Beetle Bit"
  • John Wilkerson, podcaster and social giving advocate currently resides in Saratoga Springs


The Saratoga Springs charter specifies a "commission" form of city government. Recent efforts to amend the charter to consolidate responsibilities with the mayor have as yet been unsuccessful. The Saratoga Springs City Council members for 2010 are:

  • Mayor - Scott Johnson
  • Shauna Sutton - Deputy Mayor
  • Commissioner of Public Safety - Richard Wirth
  • Commissioner of Public Works - Anthony "Skip" Scirocco
  • Commissioner of Accounts - John P. Franck
  • Commissioner of Finance - Kenneth Ivins, Jr.
  • Saratoga County Board of Supervisors - Joanne Yepsen, Matthew Veitch


The closest scheduled air service is available at Albany International Airport (ALB). There is also a general aviation facility, Saratoga County Airport (5B2), located west of city limits in the Town of Milton.

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Saratoga Springs, operating its Adirondack daily in both directions between Montreal and New York City and Ethan Allen Express daily in both directions between Rutland, Vermont and New York City. The local station was built in 1956, but dramatically rehabilitated in 2004. The 6,400 square foot passenger area contains a coffee shop/newsstand, murals, an automated teller machine, a visitors information kiosk, outside patio area and benches, and a children’s play area. The station serves about 23,000 passengers every year. Greyhound Bus Lines also serves the city frequently, sending buses every few hours towards Albany or Montreal. The city Amtrak station also serves as the Greyhound Bus Lines station. The city is also served by the Capital District Transportation Authority, which also provides service from Schenectady via Route 50 daily, and weekday service to Albany via the Northway Express line.[9]

Long-distance motorists generally reach Saratoga via I-87, which north of Albany is known as the Adirondack Northway. Three exits access the city. Exit 13-S is optimal for reaching Saratoga Lake, and 13-N for SPAC, and the southern and western quadrants of the city. Visitors to the racetrack use Exit 14, which is also arguably best for reaching downtown from the south. Exit 15 serves Skidmore College, downtown if coming from the north, and the shopping malls just north of city limits.


Saratoga Springs in popular culture

  • Saratoga Springs has been the scene where a number of motion pictures were either filmed or were the setting thereof:
    • Saratoga (1937) — Also notable for being leading lady Jean Harlow's last film; Harlow collapsed on set during filming and died. Racing scenes were filmed at the Saratoga Race Course.[10]
    • Saratoga Trunk (1945)
    • My Old Man (1979) -- Made-for-TV movie, based on an Ernest Hemingway story, was filmed at Saratoga Race Course, various locations in Saratoga Springs, and throughout Saratoga County. It starred Kristy McNichol, Warren Oates and Eileen Brennan.
    • Ghost Story (1981) — The houses on North Broadway were used as homes in this film. Cast included Fred Astaire, John Houseman, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.[11]
    • Billy Bathgate (1991) — The Nicole Kidman dancing scene was shot at the Hall of Springs.[11]
    • The Horse Whisperer (1998) — Special effects for the horse and rider accident were shot at the southern end of Saratoga Spa State Park. Also, a room at the Gideon Putnam Hotel was made into a shoddier motel room.[11]
    • Seabiscuit (2003) — Racing scenes shot at the Saratoga Race Course in November 2002. The front and inside of the Canfield Casino in Congress Park doubled as the interior of the Maryland Jockey Club.[11]
    • Aftermath (2008) — Chris Penn's last film[12]
  • In the pilot episode of the 1960s sitcom Green Acres, it was noted that Eddie Albert's character of Oliver Wendell Douglas was born in Saratoga Springs.
  • The 1971 song "American Pie" by Don McLean was written at the Tin and Lint bar on Caroline Street.[citation needed]
  • In the 1972 Carly Simon song "You're So Vain" the singer references horseracing in Saratoga Springs: "Well, I hear you went up to Saratoga, and your horse naturally won...."
  • Saratoga Springs was the setting for a radio soap opera by the same name, created by ZBS and written by Meatball Fulton. The 1989 series was produced as 90 four-minute daily episodes for National Public Radio. The story incorporates Saratoga Springs historical facts and utilizes local actors as well as ZBS regulars. Lena Spencer of Caffe Lena is listed as playing herself. A "Best of Saratoga Springs" compilation (c. 2004) can be purchased from ZBS ( During spring and early summer, 2007, the original four-minute episodes were podcast by ZBS.
  • It is believed that potato chips were invented in Saratoga Springs, by Native American/African American chef George Crum, at Moon's Lake House on August 24, 1853.
  • Walt Disney World Resort has a theme resort called Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, inspired by this city.
  • The club sandwich was invented in Saratoga Springs in 1894.[13]
  • The James Bond novel, Diamonds are Forever contained several scenes set in Saratoga Springs and its famous racecourse.

Sister cities

See also


  1. ^ US Census Bureau List of urbanized Areas
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ Peck, Willys (1998-04-29). "A Floating Scum Partisan Reveals Himself". Silicon Valley Community Newspapers. Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "David Hyde Pierce". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  8. ^ Humphries, Shawn (2005-10-14). "How Bill Parcells Made Big Gains". Golf Online.,,1104220,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  9. ^ Capital District Transportation Authority#Saratoga Service
  10. ^ "Saratoga (1937)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Magical Movie Tour" (PDF). Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  12. ^ Aftermath at the Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Linda Stradley (2004). "History of Club Sandwich". What's Cooking America?. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  14. ^ Diakopoulos, Christopher (2006-04-27). "City looks to get new sister". The Saratogian (Journal Register Company). Retrieved 2006-09-07. 

External links

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